The ‘Injured State’ in Case of Breach of a Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Legal Consequences of Such a Breach
M. HAPPOLD, "The ‘Injured State’ in Case of Breach of a Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Legal Consequences of Such a Breach" NONPROLIFERATION LAW AS A SPECIAL REGIME, D. Joyner & M. Roscini, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2012
This chapter covers issues of State responsibility for breaches of non-proliferation treaties. It examines firstly which States can react to which breaches of non-proliferation treaties; in particular, which State parties should be considered to be ‘injured States’ and in what circumstances State parties which are not ‘injured States’ can nevertheless advance claims for breach. Secondly, it considers the legal consequences of an internationally wrongful act, in particular the secondary obligations placed on wrongdoing States as a consequence of their breach of their primary obligations under non-proliferation treaties. It demonstrates that the particularities of non-proliferation agreements as regards the question of who is an injured State are already recognised in the international law of State responsibility. However, in most cases, the traditional emphasis placed on the obligation make reparation as the consequence of breach on an international engagement has little importance in relation to non-proliferation agreements.
Finally the chapter examines whether non-proliferation agreements permit State parties to act unilaterally to invoke their treaty partners’ international responsibility, or whether they are restricted to utilising any relevant treaty compliance mechanisms. It is argued that non-proliferation agreements do not establish ‘special regimes’, albeit that in practice the law of State responsibility does not play a major role in ensuring observance of the commitments undertaken by State parties to them.
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